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Indicator ST1.2

Indicator ST1.2: Students work independently and collaboratively in an inquiry-based learning environment that encourages finding creative solutions to authentic and complex problems.

Rating: 3

Narrative: Creative problem solving is highly valued and encouraged in the classroom. Students have frequent opportunities to work independently and collaboratively in real-world inquiry-based learning environments, not only in STEM classes, but also across all content areas. Media arts students are assigned to create a collage that identifies “a version of reality.” English 4 students research in collaborative groups to become “experts” about the Anglo Saxon context of “Beowulf” and construct to scale models and visual aids to support oral presentation. Film students are assigned to create a short documentary of one day in their lives. Art students use engineering, geometry, and art skills to create a 3 dimensional sculptural form through an originally 2 dimensional surface (books) by cutting, shaping, and manipulating flat materials. A planned sketch and prototype with dimensions, angles, and multiple views are required of students before building. Although individual sculptures are created, the process involves peer assessments throughout to support problem solving. Psychology students complete an interdisciplinary assignment that focuses on psychology, health science, and biological applications with a real-world application. Self-contained special needs students work in groups of three to research a state and create a presentation. While reading A Raisin in the Sun, English III students complete research in “family” groups to determine how to best manage the $10,000 windfall they’ve received using 1950 Chicago prices and then create short videos to share their findings. U.S. History students work together to research information about the original 13 colonies and then use a Google Drawing to organize their research. The students must evaluate sources and use technology to present information in a format that combines traditional resources, a blank outline map, with a more interactive Google drawing. Teams of calculus students use Play Doh to build models of volume. Working in teams, the AFJROTC students participated in a brand new co-curricular called StellarXplorers to provide solutions to typical space design problems as outlined in a scenario describing the system’s mission and constraints. Geography students have a course-long assignment to blog about how “geography is everywhere.” Through research, creative and critical thinking, students collaborate to learn about cellular respiration through an authentic experience, a case study based on a true story in which they investigate the deaths of seven people in a small community to determine the cause of death (Tylenol laced with Cyanide). Students work in groups to find a creative solution and execute their plan.” In the Drone Pizza Delivery activity, Algebra 1 students collaborate to problem solve in determining the height of SVHS using only a 12" ruler. Discovery students engage in individualized laboratory-based research in a specific area of their own interest and present their findings at an annual symposium. Many classes participate in the National Hour of Code each year, and Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) students recently teamed up with students in Arizona to do a virtual design project. In a collaboration with the Greenwood Genetic Center Mobile Science Lab, anatomy and physiology students test human hemoglobin to diagnose sickle cell disease, and biology students test PCR products to diagnose Rett syndrome.
Our students work collaboratively to help find solutions and raise awareness for numerous local, national, and international human rights problems. Among our core values, service to others is a key principle.  Membership in all honor societies, both magnets, AFJROTC, and most co- and extra-curricular organizations require students to document a designated number of service to others. Spring Valley offers several local and national service learning projects that encourage the participation of all learners. Our biggest service project is Winter Days, a philanthropic activity that involves over 80% of the students, faculty, and staff. In conjunction with the gathering of items, individual classes are encouraged to research and write about the organizations being serviced by the school-wide project. The Souper Bowl of Caring began with a group of Spring Valley students working with a local church; since 1990, it has become a national program that provides for the hungry across the nation. Spring Valley still supports this program every year with fundraising and food collections. During the holidays, the SVH Key Club raised money for the Salvation Army. Many of our groups participate in the Richland Two Relay for Life team. A student-driven club, Call to Action raises awareness and funding for a variety of international concerns and organizations. For the past few years, students, faculty, and staff have partnered with a community church to pack meals for the international Hunger Project. During the current school year, our AFJROTC has participated in 60 community service events for a total of 1,857 hours. Our school focus on service to others carries over into students’ lives outside of school. Recently, a current student has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award. This honor was also given to a former student last year for the sixth time.